All-female crew visit London on round Britain trip to raise awareness of ocean plastic

A pioneering round Britain sailing expedition starting and finishing in Plymouth this summer will see a diverse group of women sample the UK’s waters for plastic pollution and run awareness-raising events along the British coastline.

The groundbreaking sail will take 30 days and will incorporate high-profile events across four days in London. There is something for everyone, from plastic artwork and ocean storytelling to science lectures and Thames clean-ups.

From 10:00-16:00 on the 31 August, visit the eXXpedition exhibition roadshow and demonstations from Kids Against Plastic, Thames Estuary Partnership, Thames 21 and the Port of London Authority at St Katherine’s Docks.

At the ZSL Huxley Lecture Theatre attend ‘Plastic London from City to Sea’ on the 31 August. A lecture with renowned scientists, Jenna Jambeck and Prof Richard Thompson, which will be followed by a panel discussion featuring eXXpedition co-founder Dr Lucy Gilliam, Selfridges and the #OneLess campaign. Admission is free and spaces are on a first come, first served basis.

In the afternoon on 1 September at 14:00, there will be a screening of the movie ‘Flows’ by Klaus Thyman, who will be at The Dickens Inn at St Katherine’s Docks for the screening and a Q&A session.

On 1 September at 19:30, hear members of eXXpedition share their stories of their connection to the ocean, eXXpedition journeys and more at the ‘Tales for the Ocean’ event at the Cutty Sark, King William Walk. For more information, visit the Totally Thames website: http://totallythames.org/event/tales-from-the-ocean

On the 2 September, the eXXpedition crew will be joining the Big Bottle Count – a project to count and remove plastic drinks bottles from along the London foreshore – to raise awareness of plastic pollution in London. The Big Bottle Count will take place in various locations – visit the Totally Thames website for more details: http://totallythames.org/event/big-bottle-count

From the 2-3 September, eXXpedition artist-in-residence, Jo Atherton, will be running Flotsam Weaving workshops at the Cutty Sark, King William Walk from 11:30-13:30 and 14:00-16:00. Visitors can help add to a flotsam fish shoal, growing over the course of the weekend. Also view the large variety of flotsam that washes up on our coastlines.

Events will also take place in six other ports – Plymouth, Cardiff, Arran, Stornoway, Edinburgh and Belfast. The female crew members include scientists, students, artists, filmmakers, business women, psychologists, ocean activists and sustainability professionals, who range from first-time to experienced sailors.

eXXpedition, the Community Interest Company behind Round Britain, specialises in all-women sailing trips with a focus on highlighting the devastating impact single-use plastic and toxics from land-based activities are having on our planet’s oceans, ecosystems and on human health. Previous research carried out by eXXpedition has highlighted the endemic nature of microplastics within our ocean environments globally and the increasing potential impact they have on human health.

‘After years of studying ocean plastics all over the globe I am so excited to be bringing this project home to the UK,’ says eXXpedition co-founder and ocean advocate Emily Penn. ‘The more time I spend at sea, the more I realise that the solutions start on land. We may be seeing the more obvious impact of plastic and toxic pollution in the more remote parts of our planet, but what is clear is that the pollution is coming from land – the UK included. We need to expose these issues and raise consciousness of the work to be done to solve them here in the UK.’